FEBRUARY 25TH, 1862: The USS Cairo, Lt. Nathaniel Bryant, arrived at Nashville, convoying seven steam transports with troops under Brigadier General William Nelson, one of two ex-naval officers assigned to duty with the Army.
Troops were landed and occupied the Tennessee capital, an important base on the Cumberland River, without opposition.
With the fall of Forts Henry and Donelson the Confederates retreated precipitously, abandoning strong positions, valuable ordnance and supplies. Moreover, at Nashville and elsewhere on the river they lost badly needed manufacturing facilities.
Flag Officer Foote quoted a Nashville paper as stating: "We had nothing to fear from a land attack, but the gunboats are the devil."